2015 Awardee - Indie Leishman 

India (Indie) Leishman is a final year student at the University of Otago studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Communications with a minor in Marketing.

With the dream to one day present the news at six o'clock, she has involved herself in the media industry from a young age. At five years she participated alongside he father Phillip Leishman at the Sharemilker of the Year Awards and from here her goal was set.

Since this age she has been involved in the world of media; sitting in on many of her father's voice-overs, as well as watching his show being filmed through the control room.

In 2012 India spent three days filming for "Just the Job" a career based television show directed at young teens looking for potential career options. This was a great experience for Indie to be in front of the camera.

Since then she has worked on many film, radio, and print media projects throughout her university studies; including interview programs, radio podcasts, journalism blogging and working in a production team.

In 2014 Indie spent two weeks interning at TVNZ shadowing and learning from the many presenters and gaining their advice on this ever-changing industry. This was an invaluable experience for Indie working alongside some of the country's best journalists and presenters.

The racing industry has always been a part of Indie's life, due to her father's heavy involvement, and from a young age she remembers attending the Boxing Day races and always thoroughly enjoying her time at Ellerslie with friends and family. 


Indie's Reflections

26th December- Boxing Day Races                                 

The Boxing Day races are notorious for being one of Auckland highlights in the summer social calendar.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the races to accompany world famous supermodel and presenter Kylie Bax. Spending the day with Kylie really opened up my eyes to the world of racing broadcasting. We began the day at Ellerslie down at the birdcage where Kylie did a crossover to Trackside talking about what was in store for the day.

This continued throughout the day at different meeting spots such as the Garnier Sunflower Lawn, Specsavers Tent and the Fashion in the Fields.

It was such a privilege to spend the whole day with a consummate professional. She taught me the importance of working hard in situations where you are surrounded by your friends and family.

25th January- Karaka Million Twilight Races

The Twilight Races took place at Ellerslie racecourse on the Sunday of Auckland Anniversary weekend. I was fortunate enough to be invited along to spend the day mingling with the racing elite. Jessie Gower from New Zealand Bloodstock was looking after me for the two Karaka events. She also introduced me to Kate Carter from Mojo PR.

I spent the evening at their event mingling with many of New Zealand’s top journalists within the racing arena. Many journalists and reporters took great interest in me and why I was there, all offering valuable advice on how to approach the media industry. I came away from this event with many wonderful contacts and it was an invaluable experience for me.

26th January- Karaka Sales

The following day I attended the Karaka Sales out at the sale yard. This was a truly exciting and new experience for me. Again, Jessie from New Zealand Bloodstock looked after me.

Firstly I was introduced to Matt Mclean from One News who was filming that day. I then spent an hour or so following him and his camera crew around watching him interview different people at this event.

After this I went and spent time with Caroline Searcy from TVN and watched her live broadcast, which was shown on Trackside and TVN in Australia.

Chris Luoni, Chairman of the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame also spent a long time introducing me to the directors of the Racing Hall of Fame. It was wonderful to meet the people who were responsible for this incredible opportunity.

This scholarship has been so valuable to my life and future career.

The introduction to the racing media industry that I have received has been much appreciated. I hope that in the near future I will have the chance to thank this industry for the wonderful opportunity I have been given.


Photo Gallery

Indie with Gerald Fell & Chris Luoni (NZRHF Directors); and with Kylie Bax & Chris Luoni at Karaka Sales - January 2015.